Join us on Facebook!Follow us on Twitter!

Chill Out

Whether you like or dislike Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, and judging from his landslide re-election win in 2016 a lot of people do, it’s hard not to admire the way he leads the city with decency, integrity and class.

The same can’t always be said of the respective camps vying over the fate of the Desert Discovery Center (DDC) in Scottsdale.

We are no fans of the project as we have explained repeatedly.  But we are also no fans of some of the stooges like Mark Stuart who lead the effort.  While we admire the passion of opponents, among the best grassroots opposition groups anywhere in recent memory, they can certainly go too far.  We have written about such times in the past but it bears repeating now as some in the movement attack terrific Scottsdale businesses like the Fairmont Princess because they happen to be supporters of the Desert Discovery Center.  The property is one of the city’s finest hotels, adding to cache and coffers. We do not like their position on the DDC but we readily spend money there anyways.  Long after the DDC is dead and gone the Fairmont Princess will still be doing good for Scottsdale, as it was doing before the debate started.  DDC opponents need not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with such obnoxious tactics.  

And speaking of obnoxious it brings us to proponents of the unnecessary undulating ugh of the Sonoran desert.  Since the project lacks such merit advocates have resulted to rationale that relies solely on one’s patriotism.  That is, you must not love Scottsdale unless you like their project.  It’s sophomoric and insulting.  We thinks some of the appeals must be made after glasses of wine because their pleas seem so sad and inebriated.

Both sides need to remember this project is hardly the be all and end all for Scottsdale’s future.  If it happens the city will be just fine.  If not, and it will not, life will be even better.

As we have said before and taking the lead of Mayor Lane it’s long past time for a public vote on the DDC.  It’s probably too much to hope for a gentlewomanly debate if and when that ever happens, but until then everyone would be wise to chill out a bit.  You’re embarrassing yourselves and the cause you believe in.

  • pat shaler

    Speaking o civil debate – we have repeatedly asked the DDCS people to join with us in a public debate – say 2 of theirs with 2 of the not DDC folks – with rules, time limits, issues, maybe an overhead projector for documents of each side. However, to date, the DDCS people have refused. They seem to be reverting more and more to an emotional plea, warm fuzzies of children standing in a pretend wash and awed by cactus roots, and just what is that big cave thing? They insist it is less than 6 acres – really? Does that include the 2nd access road? the amount of land that will be destroyed by construction equipment, the graceful patios between building? And, they insist that the parking lot will not be enlarged – really? If they can get away with this without a vote of the Citizens who are paying for it then nothing holds them to this plan or its size – they can just keep adding on with only the support of 4 City Council Members. Ever see a construction project without “change orders”?
    That is our real fear – IF the City Council is allowed to violate the City Charter and approve construction on the Preserve without a vote – then, what’s to stop further development? While the City Council continues to ignore the express language of the City Charter, the DDCS people refuse to address the documents we uncovered that reveal their plans for Jeep Tours. When you listen to what they say – listen more closely for what they omit.

  • Nancy Voorhees

    The “goings-on” regarding the DDC/Desert Edge, and the attendant political undercurrent, are dirtier than the Chicago River.
    Mayor Lane should make a motion to have Scottsdale’s city council take a new vote on bringing the project before the people; however, this time, he needs to SELL the concept of a public vote to his other council members, as well as supporting it himself. Only 1 turned vote would be needed among the 4 council members, who previously voted against a citizen vote (Smith, Korte, Milhaven and Klapp). THAT is what would show real leadership.
    It would also help heal the terrible division that has been created in Scottsdale by the DDC, aka Desert Edge, project and such autocratic thinking. Mayor Lane’s political legacy, as well as his political future, could likely rest on this. His choice to either unite his city, or allow it to be split apart.

  • Mike Norton

    The vitriol and rancor won’t go away. There will be no chilling out. If anything, this is just the first minute that a pot that’s been sitting on the stove starts to boil.

    Mayor Lane knows the answer. Deliver. Voters in this City will respect the decision of other voters. Even those who hate the DDC with a passion will calm down once they get to vote.

    Unlike you, I absolutely believe that civil debate will result. People are passionate about the Preserve. Passion turns to fury when the right to vote is trampled upon.

    As for the Fairmont Princess, if it is in fact a great component of our City and if Jack Miller is a great citizen, then he will deliver the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess’ call for a public vote. Go ahead and campaign for the DDC. But if you don’t call for a public vote, you are picking the wrong side of this increasingly acrimonious situation.

    Mayor Lane, Mr. Miller – your chance to be the good guys in this town is in front of each of you. You have your way out. Don’t blow it.

    Footnote – the lawsuit against the City of Scottsdale is not about the DDC. It is about the Charter granted right for the public to vote on projects the magnitude of the DDC. Hundreds of people have contributed nearly $100,000 and over $200,000 of legal work solely for the purpose of assuring a public vote. That – my friends – is a commitment to civil debate and the proper manner of solving the toughest problems in this City. Too bad citizens have to sue the City to make our leaders do what any right minded political leader would have done in the first place.

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to Arizona Progress Gazette and receive notifications of new articles by email.

Search this Site!
Featured Authors